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More time for crime

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By Jessica Howard

The man who murdered Springbank war veteran Ken Handford has had eight years
added to his sentence by Victoria’s Court of Appeal.

Jonathon Jeffrey Cooper was last year sentenced by Justice Jane Dixon to 16-years
imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 13-years, for stabbing Mr Handford 13 times
in the back on the eve of his 90th birthday.

Following the sentence, Mr Handford’s family presented a petition to the Department of
Public Prosecutions, pleading for the appeal of the “grossly inadequate sentence”.
The petition received over 30,000 signatures.

In May 2017, Director of Public Prosecutions, John Champion lodged an appeal against
the sentence imposed on Cooper, who had pleaded guilty to one charge of theft, one
charge of aggravated burglary and one charge of murder.

In a hearing on Monday (February 12), Court of Appeal judges David Beach, Mark
Weinberg and Phillip Priest said Cooper’s offending was a grave example of murder that
needed to be strongly denounced.

Judge Beach said Cooper’s 16-year sentence devalued the gravity of his offending and was “manifestly inadequate”.

Cooper was re-sentenced to 24 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 20-years.

Judges Beach, Weinberg and Priest said if not for his plea of guilty, Cooper would have
been sentenced to life.

Moorabool News reporter Jessica Howard was in Victoria’s Court of Appeal to report this story.